I realize I am about 20 years past my sell-by date.
When you travel the world as an old man, you not only see the present. You remember what was there in the past. You remember the large tree they cut down to put a drive-thru window in order to make it easier to die from a hamburger. You remember when people in local shops said hello and thank you and how are you today. When you were more interesting than a Tik-Tok video on their screen.
You remember when news shows showed news, bonafide news, not opinion and when every storm and every stabbing and every bombing wasn't evidence--screamed at 200 dB on a 24-hour news cycle--of the end of the world as we know it.
You remember taking a walk without a phone. Leaving the office without still being attached to the office. And not checking your email as incessantly as medieval monks prayed in their cells.
I remember when I could find information.
I am looking for a week away from the fleshpots of virtual Madison Avenue. Someplace warm. With a pool. To just relax. Maybe have a drink.
All I get are ads for travel aggregators that when you click on them, you have more ads for more aggregators.
I can't find what I'm looking for. No matter how precise and quotation-marked my search is. Every "best list" whether you're looking for a resort, a pizza or a car that's good in the snow is an ad. And a bad one at that.
It's funny to me how not long ago we lived in the information age and now we can find no information at all.
Because today we are living in the "user age." The consumer isn't in control. The consumer is consumed.
|Modern marketing is a battle for cattle and you're the bovine. Mooooooooooo.|
We are all being used.
Derivatived. We are a collateralized human debt obligation to be sold to the lowest, but most persistent bidder.
I've read a lot of literature in my time. Including the oldest books known to Western civilization, the Sumerian epic from 2000 BC, Gilgamesh and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey as well as just about every collection of Greek mythology I can get my hands on.
For about 6,000 years, civilization has traded on good information delivered with speed. Information that clarifies and guides.
In the user age, humanity gives information about themselves in exchange for products they don't want. Because today's politicians, corporations and advertising agencies believe people are too stupid to care. You're not even a person, remember. You're something to be used. (See Zuckerberg, Mark.)
I run an agency now.
A one-person agency, so by definition the world's smallest, if you don't count agencies run solely by bots for the enrichment of bots.
I routinely win major pieces of business from agencies one-thousand times my size. The low-margin scions of Madison Avenue. I win it without unveiling my spiel. I win it by uncovering information, useful information, that helps brands tell people what they do and why they're important.
What's in it for you?
A lot of times I think of my harridan of a mother. Intelligent. But she died before ever going on a computer or reading an email.
I am often asked to explain complicated things.
I write for my mother in that case.
My job is to make her understand.
No matter if she doesn't.
She wanted me to be a lawyer.